Fri, Mar 07, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Yahoo Inc’s buying binge continues as it snaps up Vizify

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Yahoo Inc on Wednesday added Vizify to the long list of startups it has bought since former Google Inc executive Marissa Mayer took the helm less than two years ago.

The company did not disclose how much it paid for Vizify, which specializes in letting people turn their social media data into videos, infograpics or other visual presentations.

“We have found in Vizify a company that shares our passion for visualization technology and the user experience,” Yahoo said.

Founded in 2011, Vizify is based in Portland, Oregon. Its five-member team are to join Yahoo’s media product group in San Francisco.

“As for what’s next, we can’t talk specifics just yet, but we’re excited to bring a more visual approach to data at Yahoo,” the Vizify team said in a post on the company’s Web site.

“We have a lot more up our sleeves and can’t wait to get started,” the team said.

Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo has bought more than two dozen startups as Mayer tries to pump new life into the aging Internet pioneer eclipsed by Silicon Valley neighbor Google.

Last month, Yahoo acquired Wander, which makes the smartphone visual diary-app Days.

The Days app, launched a year ago, lets people weave images captured at various moments into “visual diaries” of any given days in their lives.

The Wander team are to work in Yahoo offices in New York as the company adds more muscle to its efforts to be center stage on smartphones and tablets.

Meanwhile, Yahoo on Wednesday confirmed that it would stop letting people sign into its online services using credentials from rival Internet titans Facebook or Google.

The shift began with the Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em arena and will gradually expand to all of the company’s online services and products, including photo-sharing Web site Flickr.

“We are moving towards requiring all users to access our service with a Yahoo username over time,” the faded Internet search star said. “Eventually, the sign in buttons for Facebook and Google will be removed from all Yahoo properties.”

Yahoo portrayed the move as enabling the California-based firm to provide more personalized services and content to visitors, but it was also seen as part of a strategy to better target money-making ads.

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